Clemson earned the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff and will face No. 4 seed Alabama in New Orleans on Jan. 1.
While the Tigers are excited to be playing in the Sugar Bowl, several players were hoping for a road trip to California instead.
Clemson would have played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena had the Tigers been the No. 2 seed or 3 seed but will instead head to Louisiana in a few weeks.
“Personally, 95 percent of the team wanted to go to California. I mean who doesn’t? That’s California,” linebacker Kendall Joseph said. “I grew up in Anderson all my life. Like man, I want to go to California and see California. So that’s really what it was. California just kind of has this aura about it. So we wanted to go out there.”
Clemson wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud was definitely a part of the 95 percent of the players hoping for the Rose Bowl.
“I was 100 percent on that,” he said.
Cornerback Ryan Carter, who forced two turnovers in Clemson’s ACC championship win against Miami, has been to New Orleans once and enjoyed his time but was hoping for a week in California.
“I would love to be going to Cali. I’ll take New Orleans, but I think most of us were definitely trying to go to Cali,” he said.
Carter added that after going to New Orleans once he has some advice for his teammates.
“There’s a lot going on, just be careful just as far as being out and stuff. There’s just so much going on and especially with the magnitude of this game we’ve just gotta make sure that we’re locked in to what we have to do as far as playing and stuff like that,” the senior said. “It’s going to be a great time as far as being there for a week. Just enjoy the scenery, enjoy everything that comes with New Orleans.”
ON THE ROAD
Clemson’s staff will be on the road recruiting this week and is expecting plenty of positive feedback after locking up the ACC title and No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff over the weekend.
“Obviously the brand of Clemson has never been stronger,” Tigers co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. “It definitely makes our job a lot easier whenever we go on the road and everybody knows what that Tiger paw represents. So that’s a lot of fun.”
While Clemson’s staff will be on the road recruiting, Clemson players will get some time off.
The Tigers will not practice this week and will instead focus on school work before taking exams the following week.
“Our coaches, we’re on the road (Sunday). … All of our coaches will be gone for a week for the contact, but our guys will get the week off to really focus on school, and then we’ll come back the next week and start over,” Scott said.